Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Mapping Income Inequality in the UK

Last week the UK's Office of National Statistics released a map which explored income disparities at the regional level. The ONS' What are the regional differences in income and productivity? visualizes average incomes and productivity levels at the regional level in the UK. This week the ONS has released a new data visualization which looks more closely at income levels at the neighborhood level.

In Exploring local income deprivation the ONS has mapped average neighborhood income levels in all 316 local authorities in England. This map provides a detailed look at income disparities in every town and city in England. The ONS visualization makes excellent use of robot-journalism to personalize the data visualization to individual readers. At the beginning of the article you can select one of the 316 English local authorities and the rest of scrollytelling data visualization is then personalized to your selection, highlighting the income deprivation and disparities in your chosen area. 

The ONS uses a choropleth map to show the income levels at the neighborhood level in your chosen local authority area. As you progress through the data visualization the ONS go on to group local authority areas in England into one of four types of income-deprivation profile, according to the income levels in each area. These are: more income-deprived, less income-deprived, n-shaped profiles (where most neighborhoods in an area have close to average income levels), and flat profiles (where there is an even distribution across the different income levels).

Mapping these four types of income-deprivation profiles helps to reveal which areas of England have the most income-deprived areas and which areas have the least income-deprived. It also helps to reveal what types of areas of the country have the most n-shaped and flat patterns of income level distribution.

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